Sailors may have been racing around the Island for 80 years, but competitors in this year's event will have a welcome helping hand, thanks to Raymarine.

May 2011 – Leading marine electronics manufacturer, Raymarine invites competitors in the 80th anniversary Round the Island Race to the Island Sailing Club, Cowes, at 1800 on 24th June to hear the latest weather and tidal information on the eve of the race. This up to the minute information will be available live and free to all attendees, thanks to Raymarine’s Weather Briefing.

Now in its eighth year, the Raymarine Weather Briefing will be presented by top meteorologist, Libby Greenhalgh, who is Met Office trained and is the Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic squad weather forecaster. Libby will be taking a break from her work with the RYA’s Olympic squad in Weymouth to present the latest weather and tidal information to competitors at the ISC, combining her meteorological expertise with her high level sailing knowledge. As a past Cowes Week winner, Libby is an experienced Solent sailor, with particular successes in the 1720 and J105 classes.

As any boater will know, the developments in weather patterns prior to a big race can have a huge impact on tactics when the big day arrives. As well as the live Weather Briefing, the leading marine electronics manufacturer will also offer a series of online weather briefing videos bringing sailors advance weather and tactics advice in the days prior to the event.

This series will be presented by meteorological expert and successful Solent sailor, Richard Puddifoot. With an MSc in Applied Meteorology, Richard has been an aviation and commercial forecaster for the Met Office and has provided weather routing services to the Pindar Ocean Racing Team and to various super-yachts. He now works with Armajaro Asset Management as a commodities forecaster and strategist. As a sailor, his knowledge of the Solent is outstanding; having won Cowes Week multiple times, Richard finished second in class in last year’s Round the Island Race, and is also current Sigma 33 Class Champion.

Competitors will be able to access Richard’s pre-event advice these videos for free via the Raymarine website, where they can also sign up to receive email and sms updates in the days leading up to the race.

In addition to building up the big picture ahead of the event, these broadcasts give useful information about tidal data and weather, which is equally crucial for first time competitors and experienced racers.

On the day, competitors can integrate this weather and tidal information provided at the Raymarine Weather Briefing into their on-board navigation systems to give them up to the minute data as they race around the Island. Having this vital information at their fingertips could make all the difference for competitors in this tightly contested historic competition, which this year will see over 1600 yachts competing for line honours.

Race crews can sign up in advance to receive day by day weather forecasts and updates by SMS simply by logging onto Raymarine’s website.